The talented Fowler family is back in Australia, which is potentially good news for Ante Milicic’s Matildas – and, perhaps, the Socceroos as well one day.
The five siblings from Cairns – Mary, Quivi, Ciara, Seamus and Louise – have returned to Sydney and signed for NPL clubs after an extended period in Europe. Four of them have joined Bankstown City Lions while Quivi, a former Irish youth international who had penned an under-23s deal with Cardiff City in January, has joined the Sutherland Sharks.
The half-Irish, half-Papua New Guinean family has been wavering as to which country they would collectively commit their international futures to. The Fowlers treat their football as a one-in, all-in pursuit, with all five children keen to represent the same nation and, where possible, play for the same club.
The Hairdryer understands Football Federation Australia has made fresh overtures about getting them back in the green and gold.
It’s probably a touch too late for Mary, 16, to break her way back into World Cup calculations for the Matildas, given the settled nature of the squad from the Cup of Nations. But it’ll be a major win for the country if FFA can lock them all in for Australia.
Van picks up Cooper
Mitch Cooper will never captain the Socceroos, as Clive Palmer once famously predicted – because he’s been picked to play for Vanuatu.
The former Gold Coast United and Newcastle Jets prodigy, now 24, has been selected to represent the nation of his birth, who will face the Solomon Islands on Monday in preparation for the 2019 Pacific Games.
Cooper, who these days plays for NPL Victoria outfit Hume City, grew up in Vanuatu before moving to south-east Queensland as a child.
Rebel gaffe leave Nike spewing
Australia’s largest sporting goods retailer, Rebel, looks to have completely misread the public and missed out on a significant cash-cow after rejecting an offer to stock the new Matildas’ World Cup jersey in mens sizes.
The widely lauded “new spew” jersey has proved a hit online, drawing parallels to the infamous early 1990s Socceroos kit though Rebel failed to predict its appeal. The company took up an order for women’s sizes only when offered a larger stock from FFA and supplier Nike, and only a token amount of mens jerseys for some stores believing there would be almost no cross-gender appeal.
Within hours of its release, the first order of mens jerseys were sold out online on Tuesday while almost all sizes were sold less than a day after the second round of release was put up for sale shortly after on the FFA’s website.
Western Sydney Wanderers veteran Mark Bridge recently announced he will be quitting the club at the end of the season after an injury plagued campaign but it appears the forward won’t be hanging-up his boots entirely. The Hairdryer understands Bridge has accepted an offer to play for the Wanderers next season – Mounties Wanderers that is, who play in the NSW National Premier League.
Dominic Bossi is a football reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.
Vince is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.